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Modern parenting ?

(42 Posts)
sazz1 Thu 25-Aug-11 22:45:21

Ok so I went out shopping today and a little girl in a push chair was telling her mum what to buy in Wilk...........s from the art and craft section. The mum was actually asking what she wanted and buying it for her. She looked about 2 and a half and could not have been 3 yet
Yesterday my daughters friend was late visiting as her 3 year old couldnt decide which shoes and socks to wear and refused to wear any for over an hour.
My daughter in law asks my grandson where he would like to go when they go out, what he would like for tea etc etc - hes just 2.

Now I brought up my 3 children to wear what clothes I put out the night before on their bedroom chair.
I have never let a 2 year old tell me where to go or what to buy in a shop or what they were having for tea. Negotiations came around 11 years when they started senior school.
Im in my late 50s so not that elderly lol yet but is there any real benefit to taking directions from toddlers?
Or am I being unreasonable in thinking that to foster security in children they need parents making decisions, and consistancy with proper boundaries? I also believe that 2 and 3 year olds are so contrary anyway that when given a choice will always want the other option as well!

Jangran Sun 16-Oct-11 15:54:14

Yes, I don't think how strict you are comes into it, unless you are restrictive, which is quite a different thing.

When my two were small, the "fashion" seemed to be revolving your life around the child. I didn't like that idea, partly because it seemed to mean letting your child run rings round you. One of my friends did that, and her children were not particularly nice to have around.

Now a lot of parents seem to mistake being "child-centred" for giving a child all her/his own way. But surely being child-centred means thinking of the child's long-term as well as short-term interests?

What I hate now, though, is being undermined by the parent. My elder daughter has the view that if a responsible adult with caring responsibilities disciplines a child, then that should be supported. She has often said that she likes my approach to discipline, but also she regards bringing up her daughter and son as a family not personal responsibility.

My younger daughter has the idea that as she is the mother, she should know best, and hence quite often undermines my attempts to get reasonable behaviour out of her younger son (the elder one is much easier, anyway). Then, of course, the whole matter becomes worst, the little boy enjoys playing gran off against mummy, and my daughter thinks that she has been vindicated in her belief that she knows best. I know she is wrong, because grandson 2 behaves much better when he is in my charge, but there is no way I could tell her that.

riclorian Sat 15-Oct-11 15:11:49

I agree with most of the above --- it is a parents job to bring up polite and well behaved children , not the little monsters we all see when out and about . Life is much easier for parents and children when rules are set and kept to . My GS remarked the other day that he had to change into slippers in my house but was allowed to wear shoes in his own home . This was said as a matter fact and was quite acceptable to him . He also accepts that jumping on o furniture here is a 'no no '.Although we have strict rules apparently he looks forward to his weekly visits even though we are more strict than his parents !!!

Pennysue Fri 14-Oct-11 22:35:17

I want to shout at parents "you are not their best friend - you are their parent". For goodness sake get a grip. Any young animal needs to be taught right from wrong and given boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Each child is also an individual so you treat them accordingly.

Throw the book away the baby has not read it. Treat each child according to their personality just like every other person you come into contact with every day.

I wonder if the change in parenting came about with the "we are going to try for a baby" - historically most people had been "trying not to have another baby".

Joan Mon 10-Oct-11 03:09:26

That makes sense, Granny23.

Granny23 Sun 09-Oct-11 23:37:56

When I was training to be a counsellor we were taught that children under 5/6 were unable to make choices between more than two things i.e. OK with 'soup or beans?', unable to compute 'which one of your 10 dolls do you want to take with you today?'

Joan Sun 09-Oct-11 23:29:00

It seems to me that in many cases the expression 'modern parenting' is an oxymoron. It is more like non-parenting.

I agree with all of the above people's comments, that parents should take charge, and the small child's choices should be limited to stuff that affects no-one else and doesn't really matter. They should have clearly understood boundaries, fixed bedtimes etc.

I once read an article about this sort of thing, where it said "Parents should realise that they are in charge of the child, they are not entertainment directors."

We were late parents, I was 34 and 37, and didn't have the energy or inclination for bullshit. So they went to bed at a reasonable time, knew their boundaries, and ate what was put in front of them. Bad behaviour always had consequences.

This was as much for our benefit as theirs. Perhaps if today's parents realised their own lives would also be much better if they took charge, things might change.

Twobabes Sun 09-Oct-11 21:52:32

I knew plenty who did just that. It's not new.

dizzyblonde Sun 09-Oct-11 16:48:34

We were not perfect but we didn't give up and let the children run things.

dorsetpennt Fri 07-Oct-11 16:55:04

Letting a 2 year old decide what they are going to wear and taking hours over it is holding it's parent to a hostage situation. Certainly when they are older there is no reason why they couldn't have some choice in food or clothes but not to the extent some parents do. A friend says her daughter has cooked three different meals for her 2 year old who decided he didn't want the 1st meal on offer, then the 2nd meal etc. By number three friend lost her temper and told her daughter she was being really silly in letting her 2 year old dictate to the her.[another hostage situation]. I remember witnessing a mother trying to reason with her toddler by saying 'Mommy is very angry look at Mommy's face' - toddler looked and carried on with its bad behaviour.

em Fri 07-Oct-11 10:37:43

I've worked out a way of dealing with shouting (but don't apply it if he's on the naughty chair as we ignore him for 2 minutes). If he starts to shout eg when demanding something, I cover my ears and say 'When you start shouting, I stop listening'. It seems to work as he then starts to whisper, I uncover my ears and the conversation goes back to normal. Didn't think of this one with my own 3 so hope the effect lasts!

nannysgetpaid Fri 07-Oct-11 10:31:22

Whenever I put my foot down with any of our children I got the usual "you are not my friend" Gave them the usual answer "no I'm you're mother". Still do occasionally. grin

em Fri 07-Oct-11 10:08:14

My DD has recently started using the 'naughty chair' technique with the 2 yr-old and it seems to be working. He doesn't budge from the chair but does tend to shout a bit while he is there! We are ignoring that and are finding that his apology after a couple of minutes seems genuine. However he seems to think it's ok to push over baby sister as long as it's immediately followed by an insincere 'oops, sorry!' So we are trying to establish the importance and the real meaning of apologies. Not easy to understand at 2 but I do think we're getting there as he is a very affectionate little boy and doesn't like being out of favour!

Annobel Fri 07-Oct-11 09:37:24

I had one who was very well behaved and one who was quite the opposite. Once, in the doctor's waiting room, he was, for no known reason, as high as a kite and wouldn't keep still or quiet. For that reason we were allowed to jump the queue. Two days later he was in hospital with a blocked bowel and not too long after that, he had major surgery. Now 38, and highly responsible, he would probably have a fit if one of his two behaved the way he did!

Twobabes Fri 07-Oct-11 09:20:39

Isn't strange - we were all such perfect mothers! smile

dizzyblonde Thu 06-Oct-11 22:55:15

I hate this, my children always had to walk sensibly when we were out shopping, plenty of time to run in the park. Absolutely no running around in Sainsbury's, I always said that people find shopping stressful enough without having to dodge small children.
I now seem to spend time avoiding children using the polished floor as a slide. I should take a leaf out of my husbands book who says that if parents can't be bothered to keep their children under control in shops then they should expect to have them trodden on. He doesn't actually tread on them I hasten to add just gives them 'the look' perfected by years of small children.

nanarosie Thu 06-Oct-11 22:03:07

baNANA how I agree with you - why do parents let their children run and scream even in the Doctors surgery where often people feel really unwell or as I saw the other day a small child kicked an old lady who had a heavily bandaged leg clearly causing her a lot of pain yet the parent took no notice of the child running along the top of the benches and didn't think to appologise to the poor old soul. I had a bit of a "look" which my two responded too quite well!

baNANA Thu 06-Oct-11 20:05:17

My number one annoyance when out is parents who let their children run riot in coffee shops/restaurants, apart from anything else its quite dangerous. I actually saw a father let his two youngsters about 3 and 4 chase each other about in a Costa Coffee. I nearly said something but thankfully one of the staff did it for me. Am I alone in remembering telling my children now in their twenties that they had to behave when we were eating out in say Pizza Express otherwise we wouldn't go again, this seem to work and believe me they were no angels.

Charlotta Mon 19-Sep-11 18:31:01

I remember Dr Spock suggesting the question do you want fried egg or boiled egg to a two year old. That's about the right amount of choice for that age. Other wise I take the eat it or leave it attitude but secretly try to cook them something I know they like.
I never prefill a plate but put the available food in serving bowls or plates, that way they take on their plate only what they intend to eat and then there are seconds.

maxgran Mon 19-Sep-11 14:06:00

As long ago as the 1970s my sister let her very young daughter dictate what she would and would not wear. It sometimes took her hours to get out of the house because she would be arguing with the child about her choice of clothing.
My sister would be upset - the child was upset.. It was ridiculous.

On one occasion when I was there I lost my patience and picked up the item my sister had originally 'asked' her' to wear and I said very firmly 'Right,.. you are wearing this today - now put it on. If it isn't on it 5 minutes I will put it on for you'
The child looked at me defiantly and I said 'I am SERIOUS'

My sister could not believe it when her daughter duly obliged.

gettingonabit Sat 17-Sep-11 18:02:53

I agree there is far too much negotiation with kids. Mine was told what to eat, what to wear and what to do until she was about 11 and able to make sensible decisions. I don't think she was any the worse for it. Many of her peers would choose their clothes from a young age (yes, at about 3!!) and decide what and when to eat. Hardly any wonder then that these are the same children who act up! Children need adults to behave like adults, and whilst some negotiation about things which don't really matter can be empowering for children (a choice between beans or sweetcorn perhaps), generally I think that choice should be limited until the child is much older.

What is REALLY irritating is the child who comes home for tea with your child, and then proceeds to be picky and choosy about the food that's on offer. i always told mine to eat whatever was offered, even if she didn't fancy it - a lesson in good manners, and the message that you can't always have what you would ideally like is a good one too.

raggygranny Fri 26-Aug-11 17:07:15

When my son as a teenager moaned about the type of food on offer (healthy, largely vegetarian), he was given the option of cooking for himself, which he frequently did, and is now an excellent cook. I had a three-week menu, so he had plenty of warning if something he didn't like was coming up.

jackyann Fri 26-Aug-11 15:26:02

I brought my kids up with "choices where it's appropriate". Honestly, they might have got a choice in arts & crafts, maybe a qualified one "2 of you have to share" or "no more than £x". I think it's healthy.
As for shoes & socks - easy to say "you make that choice by the time the clock says....or I make it for you". I suspect however, that might be a "running late" excuse!

My tip for mealtimes, with 4 growing kids was to use our weekly "family meeting" to draw up a menu. That was when kids got their say: we parents set limits around healthy eating, budget, time for preparation etc. and the big rule was "if you moan or are rude, you don't get a say next week!". As they got older, they were encouraged to find a time to make their choice for dinner.

That meeting was also the time to ask if things could be organised differently, if we could buy certain stuff or anything like that. It encouraged the kids to have a say & feel valued, but the negotiations were at a time & place we could control. When the younger ones were little, they joined in a bit & played a bit, but they got the idea.

At that time, some of us mums ran a bulk-buy co-operative, mostly wholefoods. We did a quarterly run to a big warehouse and divided up packs. So 4 times a year, kids in our village got asked what crisps or juice they wanted in lunch boxes, knowing they would then be stuck with them until they ran out!

artygran Fri 26-Aug-11 14:40:27

The only choice of meal I offer our grandson (4.5) is at breakfast - e.g. porridge, cereal and toast or poached egg and beans - because I would rather he ate all of something he chose for breakfast, rather than little or none of something I put in front of him. For the most part, when he is with us, he has to toe the line, though Grandad can be a bit of a soft touch, and is always the one that GS goes to when he feels a bit hard done by! I love my daughter and my grandson (who looks like being the only one we will have) to distraction but I sometimes think she gives him too many choices. However, she is his mother and I keep my opinions to myself!

Baggy Fri 26-Aug-11 14:21:35

When one of my brothers complained that we weren't given a choice of what to eat (family of seven — no chance!) my father retorted: You always have a choice!
Puzzled look from boy.
The choice is eat it or don't eat it.

sazz1 Fri 26-Aug-11 14:21:32

Raggi thats what I did with all mine and they learnt the hard way to budget carefully for clothes - but now they are grown up they are good at managing money and saving so it did some good. I think kids need to learn early on that they cant just have or do everything they want - the world isnt made that way. Parents who give in to every demand are imo just setting them up to fail at school and in employment where rules are inflexible.